So anyone who knows me know that I am a HUGE Sarah J Maas fan. I’ve met the woman multiple times, read all of her books, and I even got a tattoo based off of one of her series. So anytime one of her new books comes out, I drop everything and read it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about “chaols novella” (aka a 600 page book haha) because after Queen of Shadows, I was a little mad at him. But I can say after finishing this book, I have a newfound love for this character. Review is below… WARNING! There are spoilers!!!
Author: Sarah J Maas
In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.
But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.
My rating: 5/5 stars!
Okay so the first thing I want to talk about is Yrene.. If you haven’t read the Assassins Blade, she would be a new character to you. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to Assassins Blade, because when we first read Yrenes encounter with a mysterious female assassin, we had no idea how much that interaction would affect the rest of the series. Celeana (Aelin) basically bought this girls education to be a healer, saved her life and gave her hope. We had no idea this minor character would play such a huge role in Chaol’s life and the war. I fell in love with her character the second she got sassy with Chaol about whether or not he could “function” to completion and wrote a giant NO when he failed to give her an answer. I love a sassy character, so when I find one who is not only full of compassion and love but also wit? Sign me up! I also loved how she helped Chaol. She never once tried to baby him, she knew he was strong and could take all of the pain so she made him actually fight to get his legs back.
Now when it comes to Chaol…. let me tell you I started this book off thinking “I better not still hate him by the end of this.” Because his actions in QoS really got to me. I’ve always been Team Chaol (well until HoF when my baby Rowan showed up..) so when he started acting like a jerk I wanted to climb into the book and smack him! But I will say during Empire of Storms, I was worrying about him. Slowly but surely in this new book, he gained my love back. I think the focus on his healing was really important. I didn’t think it could happen but the first time his toes moved, I was shocked! And I kept being surprised with each new development. I loved the scene where Yrene gets him all angry so he gets up to walk to her for forgiveness. Those first few steps, I was holding my breath! I love that in the end, the key to his healing was to face his inner darkness and demons, and ultimately forgive himself, I think that is such a strong theme in all of SJMaas’ books. I am a little confused though, with the end result of his healing being tethered to Yrene, I don’t know how that will play apart in the upcoming final battle in this war. It definitely scares me.. all in all I think we finally got our Chaol back in the end. The open with his feelings, loyal and honest Chaol we all loved.
Now before I get into my Ships (that either sailed or sank) let’s get to the nitty gritty of all the new aspects that will play apart in the war. We learned so much about the Valg, that the Stygian Spiders are valg henchmen, that there are valg princesses as well as princes, that they hate fire (will aelin’s magic be the answer in the end?) that Yrene can extract the valg with her healing power (like when she saved the princess) and the biggest revelation of them yet, THAT MAEVE ISNT FAE AT ALL, SHE IS REALLY A VALG QUEEN!!!! I will say I was screaming at my book when I read that. I know a lot of what happened in this book is going to set up the events in the conclusion of the series, and I just can’t wait to see how it all plays out!
Let me just start of by saying that in the beginning of this book I was shipping Chaol and Nesryn.. I’m sure most people were… but then constantly through the book I kept thinking “ugh I can’t ship Chaol and Yrene together can I?” I just loved their interactions like when Chaol helped Yrene drink her tea and took care of her after she wore herself out healing him… That’s the Chaol I always loved, and she was bringing that side out of him. I finally knew I had jumped on this ship when Yrene walked in on Chaol and Nesryn in bed together, my heart broke for her! There were so many scenes with them that I loved. When the valg chased Yrene to Chaols room and tried to hurt her and chaol was trying to calm her down and tell her they would handle it together. Scary and swoonworthy. Their first kiss?! After something so important like gaining his leg movement back for him to make that move was special. And the description of how Yrene felt while kissing him “It was like waking up or being born or falling out of the sky. It was an answer and a song, and she couldn’t think or feel fast enough” – swoon- I wanted this for Chaol, for him to be happy… so when he said “here in the heart of a foreign land… here, with her, he was home” I was cheering so hard! He deserved to be loved in a way that is no way affected by his injury or his past. That’s the love I wanted for him, that Yrene looked at him, not the chair, and made him feel alive again. I was so happy, and then in true Sarah J Maas fashion, she surprised us with a wedding! When I first read Chaol acknowledge Yrene as Lady Westfall I was like wait.. what?! LADY WESTFALL?!? I will be interested to see what Dorian and the gang think about that!
So now comes my newest ship.. Nesryn and Sartaq. At first I was wary of him, because I thought he was sneaky and he worried me. I never thought he would end up sweeping Nesryn off her feet! When he says “love cannot exist without trust” I think that was a real set up for their entire relationship. I was very proud of Nesryn for following her dream and going with him on an adventure. I loved the aspect of the Rukhin, it reminded me a lot of the Illyrian war camps from the ACOTAR series. The fact that Nesryn instantly clicked with all of the riders and felt at home made me so happy. I started shipping them more and more until he confessed his love to her during the spider attack saying that he was in love with her before every setting his eyes on her and that he wished they had more time…. I was heartbroken. I knew that it was meant to be and I was in tears. I think he helped her find her true self and gain a sense of confidence about her. I’ll be interested to see that now that he is the Heir, what will come of their relationship!
Things I’m hoping for in the next book…
1. A Chaol and Dorian bromance reunion. Because they need it.
2. Falkan meeting Lysandra (I so called that they were related)
3. The Celeana/Aelin & Yrene reunion. I love that Chaol didn’t voice that the woman who changed Yrenes life was the most influential player in this war, that he wants to surprise her
4. That this war is ended with none of my favorites dead or in pain.
All in all I loved this book, I already want to read it again! Sarah’s books never cease to amaze me, and for that I thank her!
Thank You for reading my review!